Let’s Talk Breed Education!
What Makes a Cesky Terrier A CESKY TERRIER?
BY JULIE GRITTEN AND BOB COMER
T hose of us who are privileged to understand and know the Cesky Terrier recognize it by three distinguished assets. One, it is a well-muscled, short-legged hunting dog that originated in the Czech Republic. Two, it is a hunting machine that seeks prey both above and below ground in the most primitive of environments and, most importantly, does so gladly alongside its brothers and sisters. It’s pack- friendly; Three, and foremost, it is the ideal example of the proverbial dic- tum that form follows function. We can perhaps draw an analogy between a professional athlete and the Cesky. Anatomically, there are ideal specifications for both. Being well-mus- cled is, of course, necessary for the task at hand, as is stamina for longevity at the task. A low center of gravity (being short-legged) makes it easier for the Cesky to move in all directions in an instant and remain upright while doing so; even if the task is dedicated to making sure it does not stand erect. All of the following elements contribute to the Cesky’s success at its task as a professional hunter. The hallmark of the breed is its unique topline; it is essential to breed type. The slight rise of the topline begins at the last thoracic rib and runs to the highest point on the hip bone, with a slight, gradual drop to the root of the tail following the diagonal of the sloping croup. This topline should nev- er be flat or tabletop as in the Scottish Terrier nor as deeply curved as a Dan- die Dinmont. The best way to evaluate this feature is to think of a smooth, rolling ocean wave and you will have the ideal silhouette of the Cesky. The Cesky Terrier also measures slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail, making it a rectangular dog rather than a square one. In order to create a balance in the Cesky Terrier, the length of the topline from withers to root of the tail should be twice the length of its head and neck combined. Going back to the well-muscled descriptor, the neck, shoulders, and hindquarters are graciously muscled to facilitate the Cesky’s motion through a burrow where it searches for hare, badger, and other below ground-dwell- ing game. The same skeletal structure serves to endow the Cesky with speed above ground, and anyone watching a Cesky run an agility course under- stands this. Anatomically, the longer length from the point in the proster- num to the point of the rump is longer than the length of the distance from the withers to the ground. Proportionally and ideally, the Cesky needs to be 1 to 1-1/2 (sternum to rump).
The Ideal Cesky Terrier
Ceskys Hunting in a Pack
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WHAT MAKES A CESKY TERRIER A CESKY TERRIER?
The longer loin of the Cesky facilitates their hunting, acting as a loaded spring, aiding balance as well as agile turning. A short- backed, nearly square dog is highly undesirable as is a Cesky that is high in the rear. A Cesky that is high in the rear has the potential to damage itself by placing added pressure on its front end. The square Cesky does not have the “spring” in the loin that is a much- needed attribute to function well in the field. There is a certain grace in a well-formed Cesky that presents an elegant yet strong head that flows into the neck, and a neck that has a slightly forward arch that sits smoothly and almost fluidly and gracefully into firm, well-muscled shoulders. The head should look elegant and not be coarse, thick or heavy in appearance. It should also be rectangular in shape. A ewe neck is highly undesirable as is a coarse, cloddy, short neck or a thickly loaded neck. The shoul- der blade muscles are structurally superior to withstand the force exerted on it while engaged in performing its intended purpose of dispatching game. The front paws are larger and well-padded, again, for pursuit underground. The hindquarters are built larger and are very mus- cular for extracting prey from dens or burrows. They should not, however, possess the breadth nor the width of the Scottish Ter- rier or the Sealyham. (See Diagram A., Hana’s Book.) The teeth, especially the canines, are seriously hunting-oriented and they hide a cavernous jaw that speaks of a hunting Terrier bigger than the Cesky. Additional anatomical inspection reveals more about the concept of form following function. The Cesky is, above all, long,
Side of Cesky Showing Coat
low, and lean yet well-muscled. Its rib cage when felt with the palm of your hand is more elliptical than barrel-shaped. Think again of a burrow-oriented hunting dog capable of fieldwork whose main area of expertise is the Danube River basin of the Czech Republic. Right down to the coat, the Cesky Terrier is a hunting Terrier. The fall over the eyes, the furnishings, and the other details of the coat are burrow- and field-oriented. They function as protection. The coat should be silky, smooth, and with a slight wave, though never curly as in a Kerry or Wheaten Terrier. A cottony, wooly coat is highly undesirable, as it is prone to collecting debris and retain- ing a great deal of moisture. The intent of the cut of the coat is to emphasize a well-muscled, yet elegant, hunting dog. The hair of the topline may be slightly wavy, but it should not be more than one-half inch as stated in the Standard. The furnishings of the lower portion of the dog serve as protection in the field and should be of firm texture and fine, with a slight wave. As stated in the AKC Standard, the coat of the head, lower portion of the neck, shoul- ders, thighs, rump, and tail is “quite short” but blended smoothly into the topline. When born, Ceskys are either black or brown. Those born black mature into dogs that range in varying shades of grey from charcoal to platinum gray. Those born brown mature into dogs that are chocolate to tan. Frantisek Horak, the person who gave birth to the ideal of the Cesky, was, for a while, enamored of the Scottish Terrier. He spent a number of years believing that the Scotty was his ideal hunting dog for the Danube River Basin—and it was almost his ideal dog. The problem was, the Scotties that he owned and bred spent more time scrapping with one another while hunting than they did actu- ally hunting. A friend who understood his dilemma recommended he look at the Sealyham. Horak saw advantages to both breeds and wondered if a breeding might bring him the dog he sought. He spent well over a decade researching the concept, studying both breeds, and finally, four years after the conclusion of World War II, he conducted the breeding. Some years after that, he sought and obtained FCI approval for this new breed.
Head, Neck, and Shoulder-Set
Cesky Running at a Wild Pig
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Julerr Cesky Terriers PRESERVING TYPE & PURPOSE BRED CESKY TERRIERS
C H A M P I ON
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WHAT MAKES A CESKY TERRIER A CESKY TERRIER?
For Horak, getting the “correct” temperament was a major breakthrough. Unfortunately, the Cesky Terrier has, sometimes, received a bad rap for not being “A True Terrier” because of it. The reason? The Cesky is decidedly reserved and, seemingly, does not have the Terrier “fire” and, therefore, does not spar—for good reason. It is a pack-friendly hunting dog. The Cesky is quiet, yet attentive and focused. The tail carriage is sometimes unique to this reserved and rather stoic breed; carried in a saber-like fashion either down, in an S-curve, or at a 1 o’clock position. A tail carried much over the back is incorrect for the breed and can denote an incorrect topline. However, the tail carriage is not an indicator of Cesky temperament, save when it is clamped between its legs which is an indication of discomfort in a situation. It would be a mistake, however, to let the Cesky’s reserved demeanor fool you. In its homeland, the Cesky routinely trains to pursue native burrow- dwelling animals, and is also regularly used for tracking such game as wild boar, deer, fox, and marten. Anyone watching a Cesky pursue prey 10-15 times its weight or more has no doubt about the Cesky Terrier’s “fire.” They are first-rate hunting Terriers. Of course, this begs the questions: Are Cesky Terriers good pets and do I want one? Are they too hunting-oriented? The definitive answer to the first question is, “Yes.” And while hunting-oriented, Ceskys are companions that are loyal to a fault. They are protectors of the family, and for those “in the know” they are the world’s greatest couch potatoes. They are hypoallergenic, clippered, and thus, relatively easy to maintain. They are also very routine- oriented. However, there are two cautions to owning a Cesky Terrier. One, they cannot be left alone with food as they can literally eat themselves into oblivion. Daily feedings of only a specific amount are necessary, and toys, save those made of the most durable rubber, cannot be given to a Cesky. They can destroy most any toy whose label says otherwise; they will even- tually chip away at solid rubber toys. Life expectancy of solid rubber is no more than 3-4 weeks, if that. And this begs the second cautionary question: “Do they chew and cause unnecessary destruction?” No, they do not. In this respect, they are like any other dog. The mindset of Frantisek Horak is revealed through his notes, studies, and copious writings. Those of us in the AKC parent club, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA), are truly grateful to our Czech counterparts for sharing this information.
Boy with Three Ceskys in the Grass
Julie Gritten is an AKC Breeder of Merit for the Cesky Terrier, as well as an AKC Judges’ Mentor. She has served as the Recording Secretary for the Board of Directors of the AKC parent club, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA). She has also filled numerous chair positions, including Show and Hospitality, during significant mileposts in the development of the parent club as it obtained AKC Member Status. Most importantly, in developing the vision of the Cesky, Julie regularly communicates with breeders in the Czech Republic. She is well-versed in the FCI Cesky Standard and the AKC Cesky Standard, and in Cesky History. She is a breeder/owner-handler and has won numerous AKC Conformation events as well as achieving Working Dog and Performance awards and titles for her Ceskys. Bob Comer is a founding member of ACTFA and served as one of its original Directors. From 2012 to 2015, he served as its President and has been its Judges’ Education Chairman since 2016. “Owning, training, and handling Cesky Terriers is an avocation,” Bob says. “I do it because it is fun and I love the breed.” From 2012-2018, that love for the breed has helped him train and handle one AKC Grand Champion and Canadian Kennel Club Champion and one AKC Champion. Bob retired from the ring in 2019.
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HISTORY In 1950, Frantisek Horak repeated a crossing of the Scottie to a Sealy, but this time using the Scottish Terrier bitch, Scotch Rose, to the same Sealyham Terrier, Buganier Urquelle. Th is breeding produced a litter of six puppies, but only one puppy had the natu- ral drop ears that he wanted from his new breed. He named this dog Balda Lovu Zdar. Balda was a brindle dog, but did become the foundation sire of the new breed, the Cesky Terrier. Mr. Horak mated Balda to his litter sister Baba Lovu Zdar, but unfortunately none of these puppies from this breeding could be used for future breeding. So, Frantisek Horak then bred Balda Lovu Zdar to his mother, the Scottish Terrier, Scotch Rose. Th is breeding, he felt, was successful having two puppies from this litter with the prop- er dropped ears he was seeking in his new breed. Th e male was named Dareba Lovu Zdar, who was brindle and the female was named Diana Lovu Zdar. Diana later became the foundation dam of the Cesky Terrier. Dareba was given to one of his friends, but died before he could be bred. Diana was born black, but eventually became grey as she aged and had the ears that Mr. Horak desired. It was at this point he decided that his new breed should be clip- pered rather than hand stripped like the other two terriers, the Scottie and the Sealyham. He felt that clipping was a much easier way for hunters to deal with grooming a true hunting Terrier. Frantisek’s next breeding was the bitch Diana Lovu Zdar to the Sealyham Jasan Amorous Artilleryman who was the son of the Sealyham Buganier Urquelle. Th is litter produced two males and one female. Th e names of Fantom, Furiant and Fenka were given to these puppies. Fantom and Fenka were both brindle in color, but the dog Furiant Lovu Zdar was born black with yellow markings, and they all had some white markings on the chest and legs. Mr. Horak chose not to use Furiant in his breeding program because he was quite large and had large markings on his neck. He then chose to breed Fantom with his sister Fenka. From this litter, only one female was born and he named her Halali Lovu Zdar. She was black and tan with white markings and eventually became the pillar of the Cesky Terrier.
I n 1932, Mr. Horak obtained his fi rst Scottish Terrier and began studying this breed’s behavior and ability to hunt. He found the Scottish Terrier excellent as a go to ground terrier and decided to breed the Scottie. He considered the breed to be quite aggressive, especially towards people, but the breed showed great prey drive. Frantisek Horak worked and lived in the town of Plzen in the Czech Republic at this time and hunt- ed with the Scottie around the woods of his village. At this time in Plzen, he made friends with another Scottish Terrier breeder who also owned Sealyham Terri- ers. It was during this friendship that Frantisek began to have thoughts and ideas about breeding the Scottish Ter- rier crossing it with the Sealyham, feeling the cross could lead to a more cooperative and successful working dog. He owned and named his kennel Lovu Zdar, which literally means hunting success. Mr. Horak moved to Klanovice in 1940. It was there and then at Klanovice that he decided to put his breed- ing idea into fruition. It was not until 1949 that he fi nally mated his then Scottish Terrier bitch, Donka Lovu Zdar to his friend’s Sealyham Terrier with the name of Buganier Urquelle. Th e result was the birth of three puppies from this fi rst breeding, but only one survived. He gave this puppy the name of Adam Lovu Zdar. Th is puppy was a brindle male, with only half hanging, large ears. Because of this, Mr. Horak decided to have them surgically changed to hang completely. Unfortunately, in 1951 this dog was shot dead during a hunt in the woods of Klanovice. Dur- ing this time, Mr. Horak requested from the Czech Terrier Club for his new breed to be named Cesky Terrier. BY JULIE GRITTEN
Halali Lovu Zdar was bred to the male Fantom Lovu Zdar and from this breeding one brown puppy was born and had a true brown nose. He was sterile, however, and was unable to be bred. He decided to cross Fantom instead to his mother Diana and they produced a brown bitch which he named Chrtry Lovu Zdar. He was brown with yellow markings. It was at this point he realized that the brown was being inherited from the Sealyham Terrier, and the brown is an inherited colored from Fantom, Diana and Halali. It was in 1959, after more breedings, that Frantisek Horak entered several dog shows and started the process of registering his new breed in the Czechoslovakian Register with the o ffi cial name of Cesky Terrier. It was in 1963 that the Cesky Terrier was o ffi cially recognized by the FCI.
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Julerr Cesky Terriers DEDICATED TO TYPE & PURPOSE BRED CESKY
Ringing in The New Year With Grace, Elegance & Versatility
Thank you to all the judges who have honored our dogs with such wonderful wins throughout the years, and for valuing our commitment in maintaining the Cesky Terrier to their original form and function, as per the AKC Standard.
JULIE GRITTEN & RICHARD COTTER • JULERRCESKYTERRIERBREEDERS.COM • AKC PARENT CLUB MENTOR
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THE Cesky Terrier E veryone judging Terriers has a breed standard to which he or she can refer. Sometimes, however, in a group that is so diverse beyond “essential terrier char- BY BOB COMER
acteristics”, a judge might wonder how to fairly eval- uate the individual members of this unique Group. As a part of this diverse collection, the Cesky Terrier is perhaps even less easily critiqued. Why? It could be the Cesky’s relatively recent entry into the Group that makes it largely unknown. Its small population in the US may also make it less recognizable. Maybe more tradition-bound judges rely exclusively on more general Terrier character- istics. For example, a Terrier must spar or must be hand stripped. Neither is true of the Cesky. Con- ceivably it could be a lack of formal classroom edu- cation. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to understand why a judge may have concerns about the Cesky ranging from it variation in size, color and tempera- ment to its gait, tail carriage, etc. What is a Cesky Terrier supposed to be? Simply, it was created to be a pack-friendly hunting dog that worked the watershed area about the Danube River in the Czech Republic. This is an environment of bogs, thickets, thick forests, fields and burrows. Here the Cesky stalked rabbit, fox, other burrow dwelling creatures as well as deer, wild pig and boar. The new Cesky Terrier Standard approved by AKC on July 11, 2017 was refined from its original version to approximate its European counterpart and the original design of the Cesky creator Fran- tisek Horak. For those who understand this new Standard, appreciate the hunting terrain, as well as the dog’s mission as a hunter, questions about its design and nature give way to genuine education.
Above: It took over 2 decades for the Cesky’s creator, Frantisek Horak, to realize his dream of a pack-friendly hunting dog.
Eager to the hunt, the Cesky races to contain a wild pig.
Size matters. Dimensions specifically stated in the Standard should be followed. Those dimensions in conjunction with how they fit together in the dog (proportionality) are crucial. It is understandable why a muscular, 25 to 28 pound male Cesky would catch a Terrier judge’s attention. However, that Cesky should weigh 22 pounds which is the top of the ideal weight range in the Standard. A lighter-weight dog would fare far better navigating the terrain of his native country. Some judges in the Czech Republic think American Ceskeys are “too big” and/or “too fat”. A Cesky Ter- rier, dog or bitch, must be lean, solid and compact to do the job for which the breed was developed.
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OWNER JULIE GRITTEN CH JULERR ANISETTE ALEGRETTO RATI UL1 TL1 ANNA
JULERR FOR THE REBEL ALLIANCE SN SDN TKA CRA CRAT SD-A OWNERS DAWN FLEMING & SHELLEY BELHUMEUR WICKET
JULERR FINE TIME @ BELLA VISTA RI AX OAJ XF TKN RATO RL1 RL2 OWNER STEPHANIE CAPKOVIC LUCY
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GCH JULERR AKVAVIT AVANTE AX AXJ OF CA DCAT RATN CGC TKN FDC OWNER GINGER ROBERTSON SKYY WKC BEST OF OPPOSITE 2021
BEST IN SHOW BRED BY EXHIBITOR AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF BREED AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEST BRED BY EXHIBITOR
CH JULERR DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OWNER JULIE GRITTEN
AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS BOB FOR 2017, 2018, & 2019 THANK YOU TO ALL THE JUDGES WHO HAVE HONORED OUR CESKYS BEAUTY, STRUCTURE & CHARACTER. WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL. JULIE & CHRIS GRITTEN • JULERRCESKYTERRIERBREEDERS.COM JULERR CESKY TERRIERS • MAKING HISTORY • PRESERVING TYPE • BREEDERS OF AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONS OF 2017, 2018 & 2019
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THE CESKY TERRIER
Cesky color comes from the genetic variabilities in breeding a Scottish Terrier to a Sealyham Terrier—Greys to Platinum to Coffee to Brown.
Proportionality in the distribution of body mass, whether the Cesky is 13 or 22 pounds, is also important, as is gait, i.e. the manner in which the Cesky carries that mass. There is a certain drive and reach a well-proportioned Cesky has. Consider a low center of gravity in an NFL running back. Like a ball player, a hunting Cesky must make sharp turns, explode with speed and energy when giving chase or move lat- erally instantly if prey 10 times its weight comes charging toward it. The gait must be effortless, free of any encumbrances and show endurance. Therefore, the descriptor “a well-muscled, short legged hunting Ter- rier” is applicable. Even a skeptic cannot imagine an overweight, ill-proportioned and out of shape athlete as successful. Why is the Cesky temperament described as ‘somewhat reserved towards strangers’? It’s a pack friendly hunting dog. Its creator, Frantisek Horak, became disen- chanted hunting with Scotties. He believed, rightly or wrongly, that Scotties spent more time attacking one another than pursuing their quarry. To offset this self-aggressive pack mentality, Horak spent years look- ing for the right Terrier (the Sealyham) to breed with his still beloved Scotties.
Hence, Ceskeys typically do not spar at home and are not to be sparred in the show ring. Owners of multiple Ceskeys will tell you they thrive in an environment of “the more the merrier.” As one owner put it, “They can form a daisy chain of butt sniff- ers and no one minds.” Outside the pack this same non-aggres- sive, reserved character trait responds to a kinder, gentler judge’s hand. Cesky han- dlers complain about judges wearing hats, approaching the dog from behind or over the dog’s shoulder, making sudden gestures or movements or exhibiting any aggressive behavior. Lest a judge believe them coward- ly, wild pig or boar hunters can dispel that rumor. A Cesky will make up its own mind about what it considers a threat. Color does vary and is part of the Stan- dard. Born black or chocolate brown, the Cesky can become any shade of grey from charcoal to platinum. They can also be light coffee color. The overall color of any individual Cesky must be uniform. The Standard is very specific about deviations in color; brindling is also addressed. It is worth noting that the variations in color were gen- erated by the genetic variabilities of breed- ing a Scotty and a Sealy.
The term “designer dog” has been used to describe the breed, and they are... like the Labrador Retrievers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Doberman Pinschers and Border Collies. Like the vast majority of AKC-recognized dog breeds, the Cesky Terrier was developed to do a specific task, and do it well. Clearly, anyone knowing the length of time Mr. Horak took to develop the Cesky would never use this “dog in a minute” term. Frantisek Horak worked from the 1920’s and into 1948 before he achieved his dream of a Cesky Terrier. The Cesky’s tail is another consideration. How it is carried is not a clear indication of the dog’s state of mind save when it is tucked between its legs. A tucked tail is a sign of distress. Normally the Cesky Terrier carries its tail down and anywhere between there and up and sabre-like. Compare anatomy in people. Some folks stand straight, some lean forward, and some outright slump. That variability defines the nature of the Cesky tail as well. The Standard addresses the undesirable “squirrel tail” or a “tail touching the back”. The Cesky tail carriage may not be what more traditional judges are used to seeing, but it is the Cesky tail and the Standard.
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THE CESKY TERRIER
Other aspects of the animal require scrutiny. The ratio of the height of the dog at the withers to its length (sternum to buttocks) is 1:1.5. Specific ideal dimensions are in the Standard. Questions to be asked are: Does the top line rise slightly from the withers (lowest point) to the loin and rump (highest point)? When critiquing this, determine whether the rise ends prematurely giving the dog an arched back with the highest point in the middle of the spine or is the top line flat. Sometimes positioning gives either effect and is the fault of the handler. Does the tail begin at the distal most aspect of the spine in the descent to the rump? If not, the dog presents a tail set either too high or too low. Is the body lean and proportioned? Judges should not see rolls to the skin or a tummy that isn’t tucked up. From above, is the dog shaped like an artillery shell? The distal outline of the lungs and the hips forming the case of the shell. Does the dog move effortlessly? Given these attributes it is readily understandable why the Cesky is a creature of the burrow as well as the thicket. When checking dimensions, again the questions a judge should ask are: Is the head 7-8" from the notch at the back of the head to the tip of the nose and is there a 3-4" space between the ears? Conse- quently, when viewing the Cesky’s head from above and applying the standard’s criteria defining the head and muzzle does this portion of the dog’s anat- omy look like a long blunt wedge? And, is this not an ideal tool for hitting prey? Are the ears dropped forming a triangle, the bend of which does not rise over the crown of the skull? Do the forward edges of the ears lay close to the cheek? It stands to reason that having these traits, a Cesky pursuing prey in the burrow would have these body parts tight to its frame? The Cesky fall, of course, protects the eyes. Full dentition is required in the Cesky Standard. In any hunting dog this is critical. When examining the Cesky, don’t just look at the teeth from canines forward. Most importantly, do those lower canines fit easily and smoothly into the notches either side of the mouth in the upper set of teeth? This is the “locking” mechanism to hold prey.
Tail carriage is not a clear indication of the dog’s state of mind. Down, straight or sabre-like are typical carriages.
The Cesky topline rises slightly from the withers (lowest point) to the loin and rump (highest point). The tail set begins at the distal most aspect of the spine in the descent to the rump.
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THE CESKY TERRIER
The chest should be cylindrical and well sprung. A judge should place a hand between the dog’s front legs and let the dog’s chest rest there. A judge’s hand should only feel the cen- ter of the rib cage. The rest of the chest rises up and out. With the chest down and flat, the Cesky would be a wide body and unfit for a burrow. For the same reason, the set of the shoulders, and the shape of the legs and feet, are also important. The shoulders are muscular, well laid back and powerful. The elbows fit closely to the sides of the animal presenting a compact, no wasted motion to the gait; again similar to an athlete. Forelegs are short, straight, well boned and parallel. Forefeet are large with well-developed pads. In the hindquarters, the thighs are longer in proportion to the lower leg with the stifle well bent. Hind feet are smaller, with smaller, but equally well developed pads. Everything here is predicated on digging, moving underground, capturing and bringing the prey out of the burrow or simply dragging bigger prey across a field. Judges know how important a standard is. Perhaps what should be stressed in Judges’ Education is how the breed was created and/or refined to facilitate its mission and how the standard is meant to give the judge a guideline in present- ing awards to animals who best present traits that exemplify that mission. Judges wishing further clarification on the Cesky Standard or on Cesky anatomy are invited to contact the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association for a Judg- es’ Education Slide Presentation as well as a copy of the new standard. Classroom seminars may also be arranged. Contact ceskyTerrierfanciers.org.
The Standard defines the anatomy important to a dog hunting prey in burrows as well as above ground.
When judging the Cesky it is important to understand that when all the nuances of the Standard are clearly understood, there’s no question concerning the animal’s worth as a proven Terrier.
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W hen you observe Cesky Terriers in a group of other terriers, you notice one thing. They are so calm! While all around them Terriers are barking, quarreling, and bouncing around, you will see Ceskys just sitting beside their owners or handlers just taking it all in. When Frank Horak, avid Czechoslovakian hunter and genetic researcher, crossed his first Scottie and Sealyham Terriers in 1949, one of his primary goals was to develop an upland game hunting breed that was not quarrelsome and could be housed together and would easily hunt in packs. The result is a calm, slightly reserved, fiercely loyal dog that makes an ideal pet and companion. This natural reserve places the Cesky at a disadvantage at times in the Terrier Group ring. The breed standard calls for a calm and kind disposition, alert, but non-aggressive. Ceskys are never sparred in the ring. Between 1949 and the mid-1960s, Mr. Horak’s ken- nel, Lovu Zdar (Czech for “hunting success”) bred dogs produced from the original Scottie-Sealyham matings until he fixed the qualities of the breed he was looking for—small, light, mobile, well-pigmented and an easy temperament. This national breed of the Czech Repub- lic was accepted for FCI registration in 1963 and was accepted into the Terrier Group by the AKC in 2011.
BY GLENN DORSEY
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THE CESKY TERRIER
“THE CESKY HAS A RATIO OF 1.5 LENGTH TO 1.0 HEIGHT MAKING THIS A LONG, SHORT-LEGGED BREED. THIS FEATURE ALONG WITH A LONG, WELL-MUSCLED NECK MAKES THE BREED IDEAL FOR TRACKING AND TRAILING, MOVING FAST WITH HIS NOSE CLOSE TO THE GROUND.”
when a light dog appears in the ring with more “traditional” grey dogs, it is striking. But closer inspection shows that this dog is not white (like a Sealyham, for example). Addition- ally, Ceskys with the dominant black and tan genotype often have mark- ings that fade to a very light tan again giving the appearance of more than 20% white markings. Again, closer inspection reveals light tan furnish- ings rather than white. Lighter Ceskys are appearing in the US Cesky population, so this issue should soon be less problematic as these light dogs become less of a minority. The Cesky has a ratio of 1.5 length to 1.0 height making this a long, short-legged breed. This feature along with a long, well-muscled neck makes the breed ideal for tracking and trail- ing, moving fast with his nose close to the ground. For example, they are used in their native Czech Republic for wild-boar hunting and given the responsibility for tracking this game and flushing it from the brush. They are also used for finding small game and will enthusiastically go to ground after them. The predominant impression of a Cesky is a “well-muscled” dog. The standard uses this term over and over
Ceskys come in shades of grey. This is one of the breeds that carries the gene that causes the coat color to lighten with age (the “G” pigmenta- tion gene that has yet to be located on the canine genome), and the effect is more dramatic than in any other breed. Cesky puppies are born either solid black or black with tan mark- ings. Normally by the age of two, the black has lightened to grey and the tan markings have lightened to very light tan. This often places puppies and adolescents between six and 24 months in the uncomfortable posi- tion of appearing mottled or brindled as their coat changes from black to grey at different rates. This is nor- mally resolved by age two (as required by the standard). Some white markings are per- mitted and appear frequently on the chest, but no more than 20% of the pigmentation should be white. Pig- mentation issues sometimes arise in the ring over this “white” pigmenta- tion requirement for several reasons. The (“G”) or greying gene can cause very pronounced lightening in some Cesky Terriers producing dogs that are a very light platinum. These light platinum dogs are much more com- mon in Europe than in the US, and
The range of the grey color of the Ceksy
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THE CESKY TERRIER
“CESKY TERRIERS ARE A RELATIVELY HEALTHY BREED.
OF THE CLOSE TO 170 GENETIC ILLNESSES THAT ARE NOW DNA TESTED BY COMMERCIAL LABS, THE CESKY TERRIER HAS NONE THAT PRESENTLY APPEAR AS PROBLEMS.”
describing the neck, forequarters, hind- quarters, and body. The topline of the Cesky requires a slight rise or arch over the loin, but cautions against a roached back. The Cesky tail is seven-eight inches long, should follow the line of the rump and “may be carried downward, or with a slight bend at tip; or carried saber shaped horizontally or higher.” Cesky Terriers move with a free and even gait with “good reach in both the front and the back, covering ground effortlessly.” The ideal Cesky weight is less than 22 lbs. (ten kg), although the standard encourages emphasis on a well- proportioned dog rather than a focus on any one feature. Ceskys are groomed to accentuate their musculature. Unlike the standards for both founder breeds, the Cesky is single-coated (soft coated) and is therefore clippered not stripped. The furnishings should be firmly textured and should not be “overdone” in terms of length and coverage. This is a working Terrier and the furnishings should be practical for field work. Cesky Terriers are a relatively healthy breed. Of the close to 170 genetic illnesses that are now DNA tested by commercial labs, the Cesky Terrier has none that pres- ently appear as problems. Ceskys typically stay active well past ten years old—they just keep getting greyer. The calm, pleas- ant disposition that Frank Horak was striving for as he developed the Cesky Terrier in the years between 1950 and 1990 has made the Cesky a wonderful companion dog and pet and should lead to continued growth of the breed in the US and Canada.
“Gait should be free and easy with good reach in both the front and back.”
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CESKY TERRIER THE
1. Where do you live? What do yo do outside of dogs? 2. In popularity, The Cesky Terrier is currently ranked #185 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do you hope this will change
(and that is understandable). I do hope we will go up in popularity, but it will take time. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? The numbers don’t hurt the breed. We find that the pups we place all go to great homes with people who have researched what breed will suit them best. I would like to see the number grow so we make sure this breed sur- vives. With the Cesky being a rare breed we have to be very active in promoting the dogs, pups and be responsible breeders. Is the Cesky Terrier a hunting dog and what are its prey? The Cesky was developed for hunting, but today in the US it is mostly a family dog. There are still active owners who use the Cesky to hunt in Europe. At The Days of the Cesky Terrier, one hunter did put on a demonstration using a wild boar skin to show how the Cesky hunts the boar. How does the Cesky’s physical appearance aid in his hunting? The fall on the Cesky is meant to protect their eyes when hunting. It will protect the eyes when going through bramble and, if facing off with their prey, the opponent will catch the fall before they get the Cesky eyes. We don’t use ours for hunting, but we live on 5 ½ acres in the country and our Ceskys have brought in rabbits, squir- rels, and moles. They have gone up against raccoons, opossums and ground hogs successfully as a pack, but we try to supervise their yard time to minimize those confrontations. What ailments does the breed suffer from, if any? Ceskys are relatively healthy. Some have died prematurely from cancer, but that seems to happen in every breed nowadays. This is what the AKC says: “These include patella luxation (slipped stifles), cardiac problems, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Many suffer from a neurological issue known as Scotty Cramp, a somewhat debilitating, but not life-threatening, disorder that causes your dog to spasm, affecting his movement.” I do know of a few Ceskys with heart issues, but have not heard of the other issues happening in any frequency. The tests that the ACTFA club recommends is based on data and recommendations on what the Czech Club recommends. From our personal experience we have not had any health issues (yet) with our group of 12 plus Ceskys (now currently eight). Our oldest is nine and the youngest is eight months. Is the Cesky, despite its hunting nature, a good house pet and is it comfortable around children? The Cesky is a great house pet and very comfortable with children. We have placed many Ceskys in homes with children and often get pictures back of the kids and the Cesky all cuddled up together. Can the Cesky be left alone with food in abundance? Ceskys are chow hounds and should not be left with food in abundance. I know that some will say they don’t have that problem with their Cesky, and that might be the case if they only have one Cesky and it is the only pet in the house and there is no other competition for food. Most pet Ceskys can become overweight if their food intake is not measured. Of course, there is always the exception to that. We have one boy that seems to have a very high metabolism and we feed him double portions and he is a healthy weight, but I don’t think he would ever get fat. Can the Cesky have soft or moderately soft toys? We recom- mend to all our puppy placements that they give their Ceskys only very durable toys and supervise them. Ceskys have very large canines and can easily destroy soft toys. Again, there are exceptions and the owners will find out if they have an aggressive chewer or a Cesky that values their toys, but I find for the most part they destroy soft toys.
or are you comfortable with his placement? 3. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed?
4. Is the Cesky Terrier a hunting dog and what are its prey? 5. How does the Cesky’s physical appearance aid in his hunting? 6. What ailments does the breed suffer from, if any? 7. Is the Cesky, despite its hunting nature, a good house pet and is it comfortable around children? 8. Can the Cesky be left alone with food in abundance? 9. Can the Cesky have soft or moderately soft toys? 10. Are there any misconceptions about the breed you’ d like to dispel? 11. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? 12. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 13. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? 14. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport? 15. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 16. What is your favorite dog show memory? 17. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. SANDRA &GREGG BRIDGE-CHASE
We have always had dogs and switched to Terriers as their size was more manageable for us. We bred Welsh Terriers in the 90’s and started breeding Cesky Terriers in 2014. We have been showing since 2013. We live on 5 ½ acres in the Illinois countryside. We are not a kennel. All our dogs live in our home and all our pups are raised in our home. We are AKC Breeders of
Merit and members of the AKC Cesky Parent Club, ACTFA, Inc. If anyone is interested in learning more about a Cesky Terrier or want to meet them in person, our door is open to a visit or you can give us a call. We live in Port Byron, Illinois. About 2 ½ hours west of Chicago on the Mississippi River. We are now retired and do a fair amount of travel. We do go to “The Days of the Cesky Terrier” in Telc, Czech Republic every year and tack on a vacation. The Cesky event is held by the Czech Cesky Home Club and it is three days of fun. There is, of course, a conformation show, agility trial, a Tombola and special dinner. Here we have met fellow breeders and fanciers and have developed friendships with other Cesky lovers all over the world. Do I hope the breed’s poplarularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? The breed is becoming more popular, but there currently are only a few people breeding in the U.S. Most of us have a waiting list for puppies and often people don’t want to wait
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CESKY TERRIER Q&A
“They don’t have to be a household name, but I would like us not to be a rare breed. The Cesky is such a great dog, friend, lover and I want more people to enjoy this breed.”
Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Ceskys do not shed. As a Terrier they shed into their coat, so regular grooming is required. Ceskys are not prone to cataracts as men- tioned in the AKC note above. Also, Scotty Cramp can be found in the Cesky, but it is rare, not common. What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? There are people out there that say they sup- port the breed, but they are there to support their own self interest. They disseminate a lot of false information damaging to the breed and breeders. Sometimes there are some really unappealing discus- sions that appear in Facebook groups that make people wary of the breed and breeders. We work through these issues the best we can. I encourage anyone looking for a Cesky to contact the ACTFA’S breeder referral representative (Doreen Fletcher). She is a wealth of information and can answer anyone’s concerns without promoting a bias. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? That is a tough question. We sell our pups as pet quality because their true size, color and build can’t really be known, I feel, till they are nine months old. I’m sure other breeders will disagree. If I’m looking for show potential in a pup, I would look at the sire and dam. I would look at the complete litter and make my best judgement, but it still would be a guess. We are Breeders of Merit, so we have bred many champions. Currently we have eight of our pups in the show ring being shown by six different owners. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Topline, tail carriage and color. Judges should know the standard or go and read the standard while in the ring if they have any question on what is correct. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Meet the Breeds, local dog parks, Home Depot, etc. Just getting them out into community helps. Also, we have had several place- ments where the new owners took the AKC Dog Breed Selector questionnaire and that is how they found the Cesky. My husband is a waiter and he loves talking dogs to his clientele. My ultimate goal for the breed? They don’t have to be a house- hold name, but I would like us not to be a rare breed. The Cesky is such a great dog, friend, lover and I want more people to enjoy this breed. Of course, I would like a Cesky to win Westminster (and prefer- ably mine), but that would be icing on the cake and probably won’t happen in my life time. My favorite dog show memory? One is when our girl, Chaser’s Heroic Hillary got a Group 2 at a show. That was fun. Being recog- nized in a field of over 20 Terriers was rewarding. Two—Just being at the shows and having people ask about the dogs. Or Judges stopping by and complimenting us on our breed. Three—The after show gatherings of the Cesky show people. We are a small group and for the most part we get along and often we get together after a show for food and drinks. I’m retired and I still see some of my work friends, but since we have started show- ing we have developed a whole new world of friends that I treasure. I’ve had different Terriers for over 25 years, but when we got our first Cesky in 2002, I knew that was the breed for us for the rest of our lives. They are compact. They are lovers. They are clowns.
They will do what you want to do. Want to hike? They will do it. Want to watch TV? They will sit in your lap. Want to cook? They will wait for you to drop some food. Want to be happy? Get a Cesky Terrier. JULIE GRITTEN
I am an AKC Breeder of Merit for the Cesky Terrier. I have bred the past three winners of the AKC National Championships in Orlando, am a member of the Czech Breeders Club for the Cesky Terrier in the Czech Republic and travel two to three times a year to the Czech Republic to study, research, and receive mentoring about the breed with the longtime breeders
there, collaborate with Czech breeders on breeding, am a breeder, owner, handler here in America and at European exhibitions as well, am an AKC Judges Mentor for the Cesky Terrier, and belong to several dog clubs in America, including the AKC Parent Club for the Cesky Terrier, ACTFA, and am administrator for the Par- ent Club Website, americanceskyTerriersfanciersassociation.org and presently documenting and cataloging a database of original works about the Cesky Terrier along with original photographs. Dogs I have bred are regularly invited to participate at Westminster and also achieve titles in many performance activities such as agility. I live in Montana. Outside of dogs, I ride horses and am an avid flyfishing woman and oil painter. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I hope these numbers change as people get to know what a wonderful breed the Cesky is. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? Hurt the breed. Is the Cesky Terrier a hunting dog and what are its prey? Cesky are mainly used for tracking and holding game. They are tenacious little dogs and have the ability to track and hold wild boar in the forests of Eastern Europe. Also I have seen them track other game such as deer, hare, and flush upland birds. Here in Montana, I use them to dispatch the Richardson Ground Squirrels, that are so pro- lific in our high desert environment, cottontails, and hare. How does the Cesky’s physical appearance aid in his hunting? They have a longer loin which aids in their maneuverability, a lon- ger leg than the Scottie or Sealy, slimmer chest circumference, not too wide as to be clumsy or cumbersome, the skull should never be as wide as a Sealyham Terrier, drop ears to help prevent dirt from getting into the canals, and groomed so the the fall over the Cesky’s eyes helps to protect the eyes when it goes to ground on vermin. Weight should be between 13-22 lbs. Mr. Horak’s words, “small, slim, and elegant”, but still able to do its job. What ailments does the breed suffer from, if any? Scottie Cramp. Is the Cesky, despite its hunting nature, a good house pet and is it comfortable around children? They are very loving house pets and companions. If socialized early, they are excellent with children. Some are better than others. Cesky always want to be with their human family. Loyal, devoted, obedient, and always want to please
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CESKY TERRIER Q&A
“Cesky’s are a delightful Terrier. They are supposed to be reserved with strangers—it is in the breed standard.”
their owners. They do not suffer from the small dog happy syn- drome. They will bark to alert. Can the “Cesky be left alone with food in abundance? Cesky are lovers of all things food, so never leave food available at all times. They will eat until they explode! They are not picky eaters either. They are Hoover Vacuums and will clean your floors spotless! Can the Cesky have soft or moderately soft toys? No soft toys or rubber toys unless under supervision. I always suggest the Dura Chews by Nylabone or uncooked beef bones. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Just because they are a reserved breed by nature does not mean they cannot perform the job of a working Terrier. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? To preserve the wonderful world of all purebred dogs and intentionally leaving our breed in better shape than we found it. The “adopt, don’t shop” movement is so harmful to our truly responsible breeders of purebred dogs. I could write an opinion article on that and it would be 100 pages long! We need to preserve, protect and promote our purebred dogs. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I can say that I can tell by 12 weeks of age those puppies in my litter that do not have the potential to be shown, but to truly assess a show quality puppy, I would say at 12 months I can tell more definitely. When my puppies do go to show homes, it is as a show prospect. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? The correct structure and size of the Cesky, the correct rise above the loin and that it is a reserved Terrier that does not spare in the ring. The Cesky was originally bred by Mr. Horak so that it was able to hunt amiably in a pack with less aggres- sion than other hunting Terrier breeds. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Opening our hearts to welcoming, mentoring and making people feel wanted and a part of the group, celebrating the successes of others and not turning our backs on those that do become suc- cessful in their breeds or have the strong desire and passion to learn. Sharing and learning from each other and activities that promote a sense of camaraderie. My ultimate goal for the breed? That breeders continue to breed true to type and to the vision set forth by the creator of the breed, Mr. Horak. My favorite dog show memory? When a bitch I bred won BIS Bred By Exhibitor and was the very first Cesky to ever win a BIS in America. I was so over the moon happy and proud! BARBARA HOPLER I live in Morris County, New Jersey. Outside of dogs, I am a Credit Manager. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? Hoping they will become more popular. We are a breed new to AKC and have different qualities and groom- ing than other Terriers. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? The small numbers hurt the breed. Is the Cesky Terrier a hunting dog and what are its prey? They go to ground badger, groundhogs, rats, etc. They also hunt dear and wild boar in packs in their homeland, the Czech Republic. How does the Cesky’s physical appearance aid in his hunting? They are small enough to fit in tunnels when necessary, they are tireless and can move out for long periods of time.
What ailments does the breed suffer from, if any? They are a healthy breed with few problems. We test for luxuriating patella, heart and dentition before breeding. Is the Cesky, despite its hunting nature, a good house pet and is it comfortable around children? They are excellent house pets, comfortable if raised with well-mannered children and cats. They like to please the owner and are food motivated for training. Can the Cesky be left alone with food in abundance? Absolutely not! They would eat a bag of dog food if left alone. Cesky’s will eat till they burst. Food must be regulated and treats of banana pieces, apple pieces, string beans and carrots should be the main treats. We do not feed many store bought treats. Can the Cesky have soft or moderately soft toys? Some can, but most will destroy anything soft. Even the hard toy and bones can be destroyed. They must be watched when they have toys. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Cesky’s are a delightful Terrier. They are supposed to be reserved with strangers—it is in the breed standard. They are not scared. They are unlike some other Terriers that are much more active. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? Town laws, adopt don’t shop mentality. Animal rights advocates. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Some pups by 12-14 weeks. Show prospects, you hope; second teeth come in and the bite stays correlated. I have also had pups I never thought would make it turn out to be wonderful show dogs. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? They must be balanced both in body and mind. They must look like they can go into the field and do what they were breed to do. The action should be free and even, with good reach in both front and back covering ground effortlessly. This is a working Terrier which must have agility, freedom of move- ment and endurance to work. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Talking and answering questions. Mentoring newcomers teaching them about this wonderful breed. My ultimate goal for the breed? To become well established in the US. My favorite dog show memory? Winning Best of Breed at Westminster. The Cesky Terrier is a very adaptable pup. They can live in the country, on a farm or in the city. Ceskys love their people and are happiest with their people. Ceskys should be socialized at an early age. Cesky Terriers do not do well as kennel dogs. They want to be with their people hiking, watching TV or just hanging out. LISSA PRESTON
I live in a river town off the Missis- sippi in Port Byron, Illinois. I work in healthcare and enjoy reading, creating art and spending time with my family. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfortable with the placement? I hope to see this rank- ing move up considerably in my life- time. I feel the current fanciers have done a wonderful job to promote the breed and work as a team to educate
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